Nintendon’t take grief from customers anymore.

On 12 October, the official Twitter account of Nintendo’s Japanese customer support division – famous for its regular acts of kindness – posted a seemingly innocuous announcement.

▼ “On 19 October 2022, we will update our [Repair Service Regulations / Warranty Regulations]. Please see here for details.”

Unless you’re the type of person who reads all the Terms & Conditions for new apps, chances are you would have let this tweet slide by under the radar. However, upon closer inspection, there is a very interesting addition to these regulations. Under the bullet point list of updates was one that read “Added item [About Customer Harassment].”

Another link to the full repair policy reveals the customer harassment section, which states:

When making inquiries about product repairs, please refrain from engaging in behavior that goes beyond socially accepted norms (including but not limited to those listed below). If we determine that such behavior has taken place, we may refuse to repair or replace your product. Moreover, if we view the behavior as especially malicious we will contact the police and lawyers in order to take the appropriate measures in response to it.

– Threats, intimidation, or menacing behavior
– Insults or degrading remarks
– Infringement on privacy
– Requests for service beyond social norms, such as requesting free repairs beyond what is covered by warranty
– Unreasonable demands for an apology from the company or demands to punish people
– Behavior that prolongs the time spent such as excessively repeating the same request or complaint
– Slander on social media or the Internet

In a nutshell, it says if you roll up on Nintendo customer service acting like a jerk, they will refuse whatever you wanted and in more serious cases even call the cops or stick some lawyers on you. 

Also, Nintendo didn’t just pick these examples of customer harassment behavior out of thin air. It’s largely based on the wording of a manual that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare put out which held a wide-reaching survey of Japanese businesses in 2020 on this topic.

▼ The official Customer Harassment Management Manual

Image: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

In it, the ministry found that while power harassment and sexual harassment were still the biggest problems in the workplace, they have been seen as on the decline by survey respondents. However, customer harassment was the only form of harassment that was said to have increased over the previous three years.

Examples of customer harassment yielded from the survey is also very similar to the list of behavior that Nintendo posted, such as social media slander, threats, and taking up too much of the service rep’s time. However, there were some other forms too, such as stalking employees, excessive demands to either wear or take off a face mask, entering private offices, and demanding that employees perform a dogeza which is the Japanese word for prostrating yourself in apology.

Image: ©SoraNews24

The helpful 60-page report also outlines what kind of laws this behavior is potentially breaking such as assault and extortion and the penalties for them. Clearly, as they have in the past with diversity, Nintendo is wasting little time adapting to these new guidelines for the sake of their employees’ mental well-being.

It’s certainly a departure from the traditional Japanese business axiom that “the customer is god” to flat out call them on their BS and deny service. But whenever it gets to the point of making human sacrifices to appease angry gods, it’s generally a good time to change religions.

Source: Twitter/@nintendo_cs, Nintendo Japan, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, J-Cast News
Top image: ©SoraNews24
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